Building a Better Small Business Part 4: Ready, Set, Action

We are now in Week four of our 4 weeks to building a better small business series.

  • In the first week of this series, we talked about capturing your assumptions and best guesses about your business idea. We covered some points to cover when capturing this idea.
  • We then talked about taking your ideas for a test drive and testing out your assumptions in the second week. Testing assumptions and making adjustments is something you should do often and hopefully you have gathered some good insights about your potential customers and solution.
  • In the third week, we talked about making time for your business and the other important areas in your life.

If you followed the activities from the last 3 weeks, my hope is that you will now have a better idea of the following:

  • Your narrowed down Customer Segment. These will be your early adaptors and will be a more focused group.
  • Your customer’s problem and how your solution will address their problem
  • Ways your customer addresses their problem today and how you will differentiate yourself from existing solutions or alternatives
  • Where to find your customer
  • A highly simplified version of your solution that you can present to your customer for feedback
  • The time you will spend on your business to cover the activities needed

Quick Set Up Checklist

  • Pre Setup: Once you have done your research and arrived at a product market fit, then you should get your business set up. But before you run off and start incorporating, make sure you understand the financial demands of your new venture and how you will fund it.
    • How much money will you need to start
    • How will you fund your business
  • Register your business: If you have not already done so and if you have validated your idea enough to know that it is a viable business opportunity, go ahead and formalize it by registering your business. Below are just some quick steps.
    • Choose your business structure
    • Choose your business name
    • Choose the State where you want to incorporate
    • Check if your business name is available
    • File your articles of incorporation
    • Appoint a registered agent
    • Obtain an EIN
    • Order your corporate Kit
    • Open a bank account
    • Get the relevant business licenses
  • Operations Setup: If you have not already done so, get your basic operations structure in place.
    • Buy your website domain name
    • Set up your business email with your domain name
    • Set up your online storefront
    • Set up an accounting system
  • Go Social: Not all social media outlets are right for your business so pick the right ones for you and then set up a profile. Some to consider are:
    • LinkedIn
    • Google+
    • Twitter
    • Facebook Fan Page
    • Pinterest for Business
    • Instagram

What You Need to Do Now

Now it’s time to get an action plan to keep you focused. Your action plan will be based on your small business goals and will help you keep your eye on the ball.

This week’s activity

  • Annual Goals: Set 3 big annual goals to focus on for your business. You can set in the following areas. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.
    • Increase Awareness e.g Get 1000 blog signups by the end of 2016
    • Generate Sales e.g Generate $30000 in sales revenue by the end of 2016
    • Improve Operations e.g reduce product delivery delays by 20% by the end of 2016
  • Identify monthly Milestones: For each business goal you have set, identify monthly milestones that you believe will lead up to the girl. For each milestone, specify an object that ties back to your main goal(s)
  • Your Challenges: Think through your potential challenges to meeting your monthly milestone. List your challenges for each milestone.
  • Your Activities: Think through and identify your activities for the month. Your activities should include action steps to overcome your challenges as well as progress toward meeting your milestone.
  • Review and Adjust: Schedule time each week to review your activities that week, make adjustments and prepare for the next week.
  • Daily Tasks: Now you can set up your daily tasks to keep you focused.

Posts in this series:

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